Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Austria: Antisemitic remarks by Freedom Party's foreign policy spokesperson

Via Jewish News:
The Jewish Community Vienna (IKG) has called on the FPÖ (Freedom Party) to expel its foreign policy spokesperson, Johannes Hübner, from the party. The request refers to likely anti-Semitic remarks made by Hübner during a right-wing convention in Thuringia in June 2016, as reported by Der Standard on Wednesday.

“If the FPÖ is serious about having bid farewell to anti-Semitism, suspending Hübner would be imperative,” IKG – President Oskar Deutsch told Der Standard. The FPÖ would “remain among the sticks in the mud” should the party not react to Hübner’s comments or even defend them.”

For Federal Chancellor Christian Kern, too, the “anti-Semitic comments” are “absolutely unacceptable.” Hübner has mentioned him as the Friedrich Torberg awardee of the Jewish Community; Kern asserted that he is “proud” of this award.

Hübner, who works as an attorney in Vienna, used a 1930s denigration of the constitutional scholar Hans Kelsen as “Hans Kohn” – a widespread Jewish family name –in front of an audience.

Meanwhile, Hübner himself has addressed the accusations during a conversation with Der Standard. While he confirms to have made the statement, he cannot comment on its “specific historic background.” By all means, he does “absolutely not see any anti-Semitic background” regarding the statement. Asked about why his allusion did cause laughter in the audience, Hübner said that he “cannot remember.”

Deutsch rejects Hübner’s justifications: “those are stereotypes like we have formerly seen in Der Stürmer.” The IKG is now considering introducing a criminal exposition of the facts. “We are currently examining this option.”
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